Trends in Women's Philanthropy 2018


Ilil Comay-Dror, Project Manager


In the global arena, the past decade has seen a growth trend in the scope of philanthropic activities. This fact can be seen in the rising number of foundations, position holders and service providers in the field of philanthropy, as well as in the legislative and regulative changes in various countries, aimed at encouraging the transfer of donations, and the spreading of the giving culture to new markets.


Women's philanthropy is a growing force in the global philanthropic arena in general and in the United States in particular. In recent years a number of research institutes and organizations have been founded in order to work towards developing knowledge around this topic and promoting it.1 Between 2007 and 2014 the organization "Women Moving Millions" raised more than $500 million from over 200 individual female donors. The organization released a study in September 2014 stating that by 2030 women will control an estimated $33.5 trillion in North America and their charitable giving could reach $569.5 billion annually.2


Women are exercising a burgeoning leadership not just in family philanthropy, but also in large-scale philanthropic donations. This is critical for fundraising because women are nearly twice more likely than men to say giving to charity is the most satisfying aspect of having wealth. Additionally, in growing numbers, women are leveraging their philanthropic influence by collaborating with one another through networking and giving circles that deepen their philanthropic impact.


In the United States, women already control just over half (51%) of all the personal wealth of the nation ($14 trillion) and are poised to control an estimated $22 trillion by 2020. The ongoing long-term trend of women achieving, on average, higher levels of education than men, should also continue increasing women’s share of personal wealth for decades to come.


Planning and financial decision making is influenced by the sense of responsibility women feel for the wellbeing of immediate and extended family, the community and society at large. However, their role as caretakers often comes at the expense of their own career, earnings potential and personal financial security. Women feel far more strongly than men about the social, political and environmental impact of investment decisions and their actions reflect a desire to invest time, money and energy in companies and causes that support their values.



1 Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, women give 2017 Report: Charitable Giving and Life Satisfaction.

2 Helen LaKelly Hunt, “Women Moving Millions: How Female Philanthropists Are Changing the World,” The Solutions Journal 2:2 (March 2011) 71-79.

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